- File Size: 724 KB
- Print Length: 292 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Lenore Skomal Press (March 22, 2013)
- Publication Date: March 22, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BZYV34C
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,918,305 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
Save $8.96 (60%)
Third Willow Kindle Edition
|Length: 292 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The story is told from the points-of-view of four kids growing up in 1954 Nebraska...Patsy, Hap, Beah, and Raz. Hap is the lone boy in the group, and acts as their leader, although it is Patsy, in my opinion, who really fills that role. She is spunky, brash, and has a mean temper.
She also carries a .22 rifle and knows how to use it. During the course of the summer she tries to teach the others to shoot as well, with varying success. The one member of their group who has the least skill at marksmanship is Hap, a key plot point toward the end of the book.
Hap's father is an abusive drunk, and while Hap himself seems able to shrug off his father's bullying ways, Patsy is incensed by the man, especially when she sees Hap's bruised, dislocated shoulder. Her anger leads to a couple of instances where she experiences Big Hap's cruelty for herself..
In contrast to Hap, the three girls are more stable in their home lives...Patsy's family is well-off, although her older brother Trip is a Korean War vet who lost both legs in that conflict and is confined to a hospital. Her father, who is not Trip's biological dad, is a stubborn man who thinks Trip should man up and get on with his life, which leads to tension between him and Patsy, and between him and her mom.
Beah lives with her mother Claudine, and her father is a traveling salesman who is seldom home. Claudine is rather cold and aloof, and harbors a family secret that will shatter Beah's perception of who she is. Beah starts out as a shy, mousy girl, and while she never completely sheds that label, her friendship with the others does draw her out of her shell somewhat.
Raz is the oldest daughter of the only Jewish family in town, considered beautiful, and she is wise for her age in matters the others have yet to experience. There is a sweet, awkward subplot between her and Beah that caught me by surprise, but was handled beautifully.
What happens to these four kids over the course of one summer will touch your heart, and remind you of what it meant to have strong friendships at that age, and how strongly kids feel things when they are still young and shedding their innocence.
'Third Willow' is a novel in the vein of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn'...Kudos to Lenore Skomal for writing it.